HTTPS Ingress on Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)

An ingress controller is a piece of software that provides reverse proxy, configurable traffic routing, and TLS termination for Kubernetes services. Kubernetes ingress resources are used to configure the ingress rules and routes for individual Kubernetes services. Using an ingress controller and ingress rules, a single external address can be used to route traffic to multiple services in a Kubernetes cluster.

This document walks through a sample deployment of the NGINX ingress controller in an Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) cluster. Additionally, the KUBE-LEGO project is used to automatically generate and configure Let's Encrypt certificates. Finally, several applications are run in the AKS cluster, each of which is accessible over a single address.


Install Helm CLI - See the Helm CLI documentation for install instructions.

Install an ingress controller

Use Helm to install the NGINX ingress controller. See the NGINX ingress controller documentation for detailed deployment information.

Update the chart repository.

helm repo update

Install the NGINX ingress controller. This example installs the controller in the kube-system namespace, this can be modified to a namespace of your choice.

helm install stable/nginx-ingress --namespace kube-system --set rbac.create=false --set rbac.createRole=false --set rbac.createClusterRole=false

During the installation, an Azure public IP address is created for the ingress controller. To get the public IP address, use the kubectl get service command. It may take some time for the IP address to be assigned to the service.

$ kubectl get service -l app=nginx-ingress --namespace kube-system

NAME                                       TYPE           CLUSTER-IP     EXTERNAL-IP     PORT(S)                      AGE
eager-crab-nginx-ingress-controller        LoadBalancer  80:30920/TCP,443:30426/TCP   20m
eager-crab-nginx-ingress-default-backend   ClusterIP    <none>          80/TCP                       20m

Because no ingress rules have been created, if you browse to the public IP address, you are routed to the NGINX ingress controllers default 404 page.

Default NGINX backend

Configure DNS name

Because HTTPS certificates are used, you need to configure an FQDN name for the ingress controllers IP address. For this example, an Azure FQDN is created with the Azure CLI. Update the script with the IP address of the ingress controller and the name that you would like to use in the FQDN.


# Public IP address

# Name to associate with public IP address

# Get the resource-id of the public ip
PUBLICIPID=$(az network public-ip list --query "[?ipAddress!=null]|[?contains(ipAddress, '$IP')].[id]" --output tsv)

# Update public ip address with dns name
az network public-ip update --ids $PUBLICIPID --dns-name $DNSNAME

The ingress controller should now be accessible through the FQDN.


The NGINX ingress controller supports TLS termination. While there are several ways to retrieve and configure certificates for HTTPS, this document demonstrates using KUBE-LEGO, which provides automatic Lets Encrypt certificate generation and management functionality.

To install the KUBE-LEGO controller, use the following Helm install command. Update the email address with one from your organization.

helm install stable/kube-lego \
  --set \
  --set config.LEGO_URL=

For more information on KUBE-LEGO configuration, see the KUBE-LEGO documentation.

Run application

At this point, an ingress controller and a certificate management solution have been configured. Now run a few applications in your AKS cluster.

For this example, Helm is used to run multiple instances of a simple hello world application.

Before running the application, add the Azure samples Helm repository on your development system.

helm repo add azure-samples

Run the AKS hello world chart with the following command:

helm install azure-samples/aks-helloworld

Now install a second instance of the hello world application.

For the second instance, specify a new title so that the two applications are visually distinct. You also need to specify a unique service name. These configurations can be seen in the following command.

helm install azure-samples/aks-helloworld --set title="AKS Ingress Demo" --set serviceName="ingress-demo"

Create ingress route

Both applications are now running on your Kubernetes cluster, however have been configured with a service of type ClusterIP. As such, the applications are not accessible from the internet. In order to make the available, create a Kubernetes ingress resource. The ingress resource configures the rules that route traffic to one of the two applications.

Create a file name hello-world-ingress.yaml and copy in the following YAML.

Take note that the traffic to the address is routed to the service named aks-helloworld. Traffic to the address is routed to the ingress-demo service.

apiVersion: extensions/v1beta1
kind: Ingress
  name: hello-world-ingress
  annotations: "true" /
  - hosts:
    secretName: tls-secret
  - host:
      - path: /
          serviceName: aks-helloworld
          servicePort: 80
      - path: /hello-world-two
          serviceName: ingress-demo
          servicePort: 80

Create the ingress resource with the kubectl apply command.

kubectl apply -f hello-world-ingress.yaml

Test the ingress configuration

Browse to the FQDN of your Kubernetes ingress controller, you should see the hello world application.

Application example one

Now browse to the FQDN of the ingress controller with the /hello-world-two path, you should see the hello world application with the custom title.

Application example two

Also notice that the connection is encrypted and that a certificate issued by Let's Encrypt is used.

Lets encrypt certificate

Next steps

Learn more about the software demonstrated in this document.